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FARINGTON, JOSEPH (1747–1821), landscape-painter, son of the Rev. William Farington, vicar of Leigh and rector of Warrington, was born at Leigh in Lancashire on 21 Nov. 1747. He became a pupil of Richard Wilson in 1763, and, like his brother George [q. v.], gained several premiums at the Society of Arts. At the age of twenty-one he joined the Incorporated Society of Artists, and was admitted a student of the Royal Academy at its formation in 1768. He was elected an associate of the Academy in 1783 and full member in 1785, and in later years took an active and influential part in the government of that institution. In recognition of his share in promoting some financial reforms at the Academy the council voted 50l. for a piece of plate for him.

Redgrave says that ‘in his landscapes he has not shown much poetry or grandeur; his composition is poor; his colouring is better, often possessing power and brilliance; his pencilling is free and firm, but with a tendency to hardness.’ He is best known by two collections of engraved views of the English lakes, one containing twenty plates published in 1789; the other forty-three plates, issued in 1816, with descriptions by T. Hartwell Horne. He published also ‘Views of Cities and Towns in England and Wales’ (W. Byrne, 1790, folio); also seventy-six plates illustrating a ‘History of the River Thames,’ 1794; several plates in ‘Britannia Depicta,’ 1806; besides other book illustrations. He wrote a memoir of Sir Joshua Reynolds for the fifth edition of that master's ‘Literary Works,’ 1819. This memoir was compiled, according to Leslie and Taylor (Life of Reynolds, 1865), with the object of showing that Sir Joshua was not ‘driven from the Academy.’

He married Susan, daughter of Prebendary Hamond of York, but left no issue. He died at his brother's house, Parr's Wood, Didsbury, near Manchester, on 30 Dec. 1821, in consequence of a fall. There is a portrait of him in Dance's ‘Collection of Portraits,’ 1809–14, and another by Meyer after Sir T. Lawrence.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists, 1878, p. 149; Sandby's Hist. of the Royal Academy, 1862, i. 194; Knowles's Fuseli, i. 239; Foster's Lancashire Pedigrees; Gent. Mag. 1822, i. 92; Jupp's Society of Artists of Great Britain, 1871, p. 19.]

C. W. S.